Ask Cheri

Is It Harmful to Eat Marijuana Flowers? 

By Cheri Sicard
February 5, 2020

Dear Cheri,

Is it harmful to eat marijuana flowers? A friend told me it is important to make marijuana butter, oil, or other infusions from cannabis because eating the marijuana plant can be harmful.  But then I found another article that makes capsules from ground up decarboxylated flowers. I am so confused! Which is right?

This is excellent example of how friends' advice about cannabis is often akin to to the advice you got back in high school about sex from your friends.  In other words, not at all useful or accurate.

That said, you’re not alone if you are confused. There is A LOT of inaccurate and conflicting information out there for sure.  Even from a lot of the people holding themselves up as experts. This is one of the biggest reasons I  do these videos and why I created my online courses.

Can you eat marijuana buds? 


Eating the cannabis plant itself, whether decarboxylated or in its raw nonpsychoactive state, is not harmful, so that part of the information you got is far off the mark.

That said, some people do find the plant material difficult to digest, and some report mild stomach upset or distress.  These folks may find they also have trouble with other high fiber vegetables besides just cannabis.

But most people have no such issues.

If you have tried eating or cooking with straight flowers minus the infusion and are happy with the results, you’re fine.  Otherwise, you will likely have better luck with an infusion.

But eating the cannabis plant, in and of itself, is not harmful.

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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

  • Good morning Cheri

    I have some thc-a or dimonds as some people call it, and would like to do some baking with it. I really don’t want to mess this up, is the process already decarbed because of the way it’s made ? Or should I decarb it like I do with everything else ?? Have been cooking for a couple of years and following you for same. Please let me know. Thank you Tim

    • I am not sure what “diamonds” are, but if you want psychoactive potency then yes you would need to decarb THC-A which will into turn it into THC. Now if you are going to cook or bake with it, some of it will decarb in the process of cooking, but for max potency, I would decarb.

  • Dear Cheri,

    I found your decarb info compelling. Over the past week I have been experimenting with Decarb, a tsp. of coconut oil and oatmeal and getting some stellar results. I have also made some edibles using infused coconut oil and while they are good, the straight decarb into oatmeal, for me, is a monster buzz that lasts for hours. (sometimes more hours than I’d prefer)

    Actual weight of ground decarbed weed in tsp measure
    1 tsp = 0.7 gr. (2/3 gr.)
    ½ tsp = 0.35 gr. (1/3 gr.)
    ¼ tsp = 0.17 gr. (1/6 gr.)
    1/8 tsp = .08 gr. (1/12 gr.)

    Starting with a teaspoon and progressively using half as much each day I found that 1/8th teaspoon of decarb, a tsp of coconut oil mixed into an 8 oz bowl of oatmeal produced the most manageable buzz. The 1/4 tsp produced an intense but pleasant. The tsp and 1/2 tsp doses were way to intense for me and lasted way longer than I wanted them to last.

    This morning I put 1/8th tsp in a cup of coffee (also used 1 tsp of coconut oil) and felt the effects within 90 minutes (on an empty stomach) and it’s been 3 hours since I had the coffee and I am still pleasantly buzzed (great attitude adjuster) but I can still get things done (although I would not drive in my present state)

    What impresses me most is seeing how little weed is in 1/8th tsp…how can so little get me so buzzed? Hey I’m not complaining LOL… just blown away over how potent this stuff is. I did not know the THC% of the cannabis I used so I calculated it at 20%. (I think this may have been a modest estimate based upon the potency of the weed when I vaporized it.) I get much higher using the decarb in food than I do vaping. I have been involved with pot since 1967 and this whole decarb thing was like finding the holy grail for me.

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